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Volume 662, Page 19   View pdf image (33K)
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CHAPTER III

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

IN THIS and three following chapters we shall deal with those
officers not primarily concerned with finance. These were the
chief executive, who was normally both Governor and Chancellor,
the Principal and Deputy Secretaries, the Commissary General,
the Attorney General, certain minor officials, and the provincial
and county clerks. The sheriff, although in his executive capacity
an agent of the Governor, derived most of his income from
collecting the public levy and other funds. On this account we
shall consider him later, as one of the provincial revenue officers.

1. THE CHARACTER OF HIS OFFICE.

The Lords Baltimore, as hereditary Governors of Maryland,
looked on their chief executive as a deputy, so that in the first
proprietary period he was called a Lieutenant General and in
the later a Lieutenant Governor. 1 On the other hand, during the
quarter century of royal administration, the crown regarded him
as a principal and accorded him the full title of Governor. Never-
theless his duties varied but little throughout the colonial period,
so we shall find it convenient to employ only the one term.

Should a Governor be absent or dead, he would normally be
succeeded for the time being, in his duties but not in his title, by
the first member of the Council. 2 However, throughout the earlier
proprietary period he might appoint in his absence a Deputy
Governor, called a Deputy Lieutenant General, or on his death
a Governor, whose title might later be confirmed by the proprie-
tary. 3 At the inception of royal administration the Governor lost
his power to appoint a successor, and such persons thereafter bore

1Cf. Archives, XXXIII, 6.

2This principle of succession was fixed by an act of October, 1640 (Ibid., I,
96), confirmed in 1676 but repealed in 1692 at the inception of royal government.
Under the crown it was supported by crown instructions. After the restoration it
was reaffirmed by a law of August, 1716.

3Cf. the previously mentioned act of October, 1640. Twice on leaving the
province and a third time, on his death, the first Governor, Leonard Calvert,
appointed his own successor.

19


 

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